Mr. Corporate America Hates You — on 60 Minutes

Posted in Culture of Lickspittle, Decline and Fall at 10:26 am by George Smith

Imagine DD’s delight at seeing Mr. Corporate America Hates You on 60 minutes last night.

As a symbol everything’s that wrong, as one of the very big reasons Occupy Wall Street is campaigning against economic injustice, General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt didn’t have to work at it. All that was within came out and condemned him.

Behold the unapologetic CEO of the giant tax cheat, GE, using his spot to lobby for another tax holiday so his company could cash in on more swag.

How many jobs would be created?

Immelt did not know. But he thought giving his firm another big economic opportunity, even bigger than the one last year, would do something.

There was Immelt lobbying on national television for even lower corporate taxation. GE paid none, even received a giant bonus from Uncle Sam.

Immelt looked mentally and unconstitutionally incapable of seeing how he’d come off — another white-haired bigshot from corporate greed USA, smiling and demanding to be given more treasure because he is so great.

The head rent-seeker for a giant rent-seeking corporation doing even more rent-seeking on the most famous primetime investigative news show.

Near the end of the interview Immelt voiced the opinion that Americans ought to be more appreciative of their corporations. We should like them more, as the citizens of Germany allegedly do with theirs.

We should root for General Electric as much as the Deutsch root for Siemens Immelt indicated.

GE needs more bootlicking, please!

One must assume Immelt was self-referential, that he wanted to feel more love from the citizenry. After all, he said, when he visits GE factories everyone seemed to like him. They cheer. His employees love GE.

Cue to the sitcom or comedic movie or skit from SNL, a bit about a venal boss who gets applause on trips into the field. As soon as he’s out of the showroom everyone starts with the insults and takedowns.

Can guys like Immelt really be that bad?

It appears so since 60 Minutes isn’t known for playing jokes.

One could always see it coming.

Immelt, appointed to be Barack Obama’s jobs advisor months ago was immediately hit with a barrage of criticism. Immelt was a woeful and tone-deaf choice, his firm guilty of professional tax avoidance and off-shoring. Immelt’s selection was only a convenient signal from the president that he really wasn’t sore at big corporate America.

A person with a sense of national context and a basic inner decency, someone of substance and character or, at least, a working sense of shame, might have withdrawn from the position.

But this is not Jeff Immelt.

Instead, months later he produced a lame editorial recommending boosting tourism to increase hiring in the hospitality industry. And sending people to community college.

And there you have it. The human example defining one of the many problems systemic in America: A total lack of selection for decent leadership in favor of character as defined by pitiless avarice and self-service.

It’s probably not a coincidence that almost immediately YouTube informed me that “GE and Jeff (Taxavoidination)” might be eligible for a revenue sharing plan.

Is my leg being pulled? Or is it a nefarious trap?

The last time Google offered me revenue sharing I got AdSense for offshoring consulting services, Chinese prostitutes and explosion-proof ammo boxes.

“Jeff thought it was mighty funny, takin’ away all that money/Everyone else had to pay, but we bribe Jeff just to stay.” The Pasadena Consulting Group kills the Ecomagination p.r. with its first quarterly report.


  1. allen said,

    October 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    and when asked about “civic responsibility” of course his answer was profits over people…

    how do these super rich CEO’s not get it !!! they should be worried about someone coming to take their ill gotten gains by force …


  2. George Smith said,

    October 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    That’s just it. They’ve been so sucked up to and pampered by the politicians and various yes men surrounding them — for decades — they don’t know how to behave any other way. When they anyone criticizing them they automatically start thinking that’s because they’re all criminals or rejects and envious that they’re not as talented, wise and wealthy.

    Jeff Immelt, I’m sure, isn’t like anyone I know. So I’m not entirely surprised when he smiles in front millions on tv and seems to think acting like a gentlemanly sociopath telling you he’s king is acceptable.

  3. Chuck said,

    October 10, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Immelt can’t be that stupid! All he needs to do is use his computer (I assume he has something capable of browsing the Web) and go to the Siemens web site, where he will find the following:

    “The Supervisory Board of Siemens AG has 20 members. As stipulated by the German Codetermination Act, half of the members represent Company share­holders, and half represent Company employees. The shareholder representatives were elected at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on January 24, 2008, and the em­ployee representatives, whose names are marked with an asterisk (*), were either elected by an assembly of employee delegates on September 27, 2007, effective as of the end of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting on January 24, 2008, or replaced an employee representative who had resigned from the ­Supervisory Board. The Supervisory Board is elected for five years.”

    So, is Mr. Immelt ready to change the makeup of the GE Board to match? Is he willing to have union representatives (Semens has IG Metall) on the board.?

    The shallowness of the man (and for that matter, most corporate overlords) is really amazing.

  4. Christoph Hechl said,

    October 10, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    As far as Siemens is concerned:
    It’s probably a little exagerated to speak of love, but to be fair it has to be said, that a job at Siemens used to mean, that you made it. Their internal education program was excellent and the wages close to double what was paid in similar companies.
    Of course this has also changed during the last two decades, but at least it has to be said, that the aspect of job security has been reintroduced to a certain level and they have a tendency to stick to their employees, which, if i interprete what i hear corectly, cannot be saied about GE.
    Of course they didn’t do this all out of the kindness of their hearts. Germanys society is based on the principle of social market economy as slightly opposed to open market economy. This means , that while our constitution acknowledges that business have to strive for money, said businesses themselves have to accept their role in society.
    This principle was of course weakened over time, but since industry giant Siemens profited highly from big governmental projects, they had to give the government something to show off in return.
    I hope this puts the mentioned comparison into perspective a bit.

  5. George Smith said,

    October 11, 2011 at 7:11 am

    It does. There wasn’t any discussion of the greater social generosity the big nations of western Europe have in comparison with the US. Nor was their any discussion of the different relationship German corporations have with the government. Which was somewhat surprising since the 60 Minutes people well know how the wealthy and corporate titans in the US have previously held these things up as objects for ridicule.